Dorothy Bohac’s Kolache Recipe

Featured in the “The Ranch,” November 1998.

This recipe comes from Dorothy Bohac, Ph.D., President of the Travis-Williamson Counties Czech Heritage Society. She says that “the quality of a kolache is in the texture of the dough. The texture is controlled by the ingredients, particularly the amount of flour used. A baked kolache should be soft to the touch and the dough should be elastic.”

Dough

3 pkgs dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 sticks butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 3/4 cups milk (scald and cool to lukewarm)
7 1/4 cups flour (more or less)
3 teaspoons salt

Dissolve yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water in a tall glass, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and set aside to proof. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter, add egg yolks and salt and mix well. Add the dissolved yeast, 1 cup of the flour and mix slowly with an electric mixer. Add the milk and continue adding as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a wooden spoon. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough. Continue kneading until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Pinch off egg size portions and roll into a ball using the palm of your hands in circular motion. Place about 1 inch apart on greased pans. Brush kolaches with melted butter, cover with a cloth and let rise until light, about 1 hour.

Use your fingers to make an indentation in each ball and fill each opening with about 1 tablespoon of filling. Sprinkle with posypka topping (optional) and let rise again for 20 minutes. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. Brush kolaches with melted butter as they come out of the oven.

Posypka Topping

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix together until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Poppyseed Filling

1 1/2 cup poppyseeds
1 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour

Combine poppyseeds, sugar and milk, and cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken. Add butter, then flour which has been dissolved in a little bit of water. Cook, stirring constantly until poppyseed is done, at least 30 minutes. Allow to cool before use. Leftover filling can be frozen.

Cabbage Filling

3 cups grated cabbage
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz butter
1/2 cup or more sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon flour

Fry the cabbage in the butter until soft. Add the salt, black pepper, sugar and flour, and fry until golden brown, being careful not to burn.

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